View Full Version : Snake River, BLM Draft Decision!

03-14-2007, 02:19 PM
The hyper-conservationists are decrying the BLM's preferred alternative C, even though it provides protection for critical habitat and designates areas of critical concern, Wild & Scenic designation for stretches of river, and etc. I can understand concerns about oil & gas development, but listed in their action alerts is language like

...the BLM's preferred management alternative (Alternative C) leaves most of these special places open to energy development and degradation by off-road vehicles.

I am tired of that kind of language. They would be better served to form coalitions with us as people also interested in preserving wildlands! But enough about that...

Take a moment to shoot off a letter, will ya?
Jeremy Casterson
Bureau of Land Management
Little Snake Field Office
455 Emerson Street
Craig CO 81625
Email comments: colsrmp@blm.gov

RE: Little Snake Resource Area management alternatives
Dear Mr. Casterson:

The rugged landscapes and abundant wildlife of the Little Snake Resource Area form a wonderful area and I would like to comment on the draft management plan you are developing.

Of the alternatives proposed, I generally support the BLM's preferred management alternative, Alternative C. This alternative preserves OHV access to these areas, while managing them and preserving areas of special concern. However, I would caution the BLM to limit widespread oil and gas development at the expense of other public values such as the area's important sage grouse habitat and other wild lands.

Whatever plan the BLM adopts, it should include the following provisions to protect the abundant wildlife and undeveloped landscapes of the region, and access to them for all the public:

- Protect Vermillion Basin and other wild lands by closing them to oil and gas drilling, while preserving access to them by off-highway vehicles, so that the public may see and appreciate them, and be all the more motivated to preserve their qualities.

- Limit oil and gas impacts on sage grouse and critical big game habitat by capping surface disturbance at one well per 640 acres, and requiring best management practices including directional drilling.

- Improve off-highway vehicle management by establishing a designated route system for the entire Little Snake Resource Area. This should not eliminate or significantly reduce the size of the proposed Sand Wash ORV unrestricted "play" area; with recent increases in OHV demand by a growing Colorado population, closing OHV access is short-sighted, as increased usage is concentrated on reduced OHV trail/road miles. This shortsightedness serves the public poorly, as well as the environment.

- Designate all 12 eligible Areas of Critical Environmental Concern to protect essential habitat for imperiled plants and prairie dog colonies.

Opening 93% of the Little Snake Resource Area to oil and gas development, as called for in your proposal, is not a balanced approach. The final management plan should preserve the social and economic fabric of the local communities and the wild, open landscapes of the region by placing special areas off-limits to drilling and ensuring that any energy development is done in a phased manner that limits negative impacts to our air, water and wildlife habitat. And preserving OHV access to these areas is part of preserving the social and economic fabric of the local communities.

Thank you for considering my views, and for protecting the unique and wonderful lands of Northwest Colorado, and our access to them. Please keep me advised of your progress in your decisions.


Your Name
Your Address

Uncle Ben
03-14-2007, 02:31 PM
Done...e-mailed and hard copy snail mailed.....thanks William! ;)

03-14-2007, 02:42 PM
Sent, I had to look up your address on the roster though to finish the bottom. Would have thought you wanted my name and address not your name and your address, Oh well. Wouldn't it have been easier if you just left it in the e-mail :D

03-14-2007, 03:03 PM
Ken, you ain't s'posed to INHALE them stogies...

Uncle Ben
03-14-2007, 03:22 PM
Ken, you ain't s'posed to INHALE them stogies...
Not the stogies...it's the Crown Royal in the IV that makes him that way! :rolleyes: :hill:

03-15-2007, 01:48 PM

03-16-2007, 02:52 PM
He said: "...The hyper-conservationists..."

They said: "...degradation by off-road vehicles..."

...I am tired of that kind of language. They would be better served to form coalitions with us as people also interested in preserving wildlands! ...


I can't see coalitions ever becoming a reality if we can't even get beyond name calling and stereotyping...

...but maybe that's exactly what the "energy developers" want??


03-19-2007, 09:10 AM
Good point Martin, but I think Bill usually differentiates between conservationists (which some of us may consider ourselves...we don't want to see wild lands destroyed either - last summer I filled up the whole passenger side of my truck with trash off of the trail I was checking out) and ultra- or hyper-conservationists, which historically have been a hard nut to crack being as they see red anytime anybody mentions OHV or 4x4 etc.

It sounds to me in this situation that several (some good and compromising) alternatives are being considered but at the moment a strong push is being made to forget all the compromises and just close the land. I personally can't understand why some people insist on closing so much land off from the public, don't they ever want to see it too?:confused:

03-20-2007, 10:41 AM
Precisely, Matt.

Martin, if you noticed elsewhere how I define hyperconservationist, hypergreen, ultragreen, etc. ... I am not lumping all conservationists or environmentalists into that camp. Else, I would be there too. I am talking about the extremists (and we have them too, BTW) with whom compromise means an ethical lapse in their book.

I'll stand on my track record. I have worked for compromise and have built coalitions with Sierra Club and Wilderness Society and Jamestown Water Quality representatives, successfully. But it is entirely appropriate to point out extremism or environmental fundamentalism or land rights fundamentalism, whatever, wherever it occurs. There is no hypocrisy in doing so.

RE: energy developers, I agree they need to be kept on a leash. But I bet you use their products in your 40. Balance in all things.

03-20-2007, 05:04 PM
Here is an example of keeping tabs on energy developers while hopefully not hog-tying them (caveat: I know nothing of HB1341 beyond what this conservation action alert describes)
URGENT: Support Landmark Oil and Gas Reform
Dear William,

So many of us chose to live in Colorado in part because the quality life here is so high. To ensure that we can continue to enjoy this standard of living, we need to make sure our air and water remain as clean as possible, and that our wildlife habitat is protected.

A landmark bill to reform the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has been introduced. House Bill (HB) 1341 sponsored by Representatives Kathleen Curry (Gunnison) and Dan Gibbs (Silverthorne) and Senator Isgar (Hesperus) would reform the COGCC. HB 1341 will expand the mission and make up of the COGCC to include perspectives from different fields of expertise such as public heath and wildlife biology. Currently, five out of seven of the voting members of the COGCC represent oil and gas industry interests. HB 1341 shifts that balance so that only three out of nine members represent the industry.

This bill passed through the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday and will be headed to a full floor vote this week. Help us pass this landmark bill by asking your representative to vote for HB 1341.

For more information on this legislation and to take action, follow the link below.

03-21-2007, 05:17 PM
little late, but sent :thumb: I've always wanted to get into NW Colorado to do some explorin'